'Looking forward to the future:' Bluetooth technology helps Parkinson's patients

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Some Parkinson's disease patients are taking control of their life with an app following deep brain simulation surgery.

Greg Smith's tremors came on suddenly and he quickly realized, following a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, that traditional medication wasn't for him.

"The medicine just made me feel like a zombie," Smith says.

Greg's sister told him about a program at JFK Medical Center -- deep brain stimulation -- with a twist. Patients control the stimulating program through an app, in Smith's case, on an iPod.

Using Abbott’s Infinity Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) System, the pair of electrodes implanted in Smith's brain connects to the device using a wireless bluetooth signal relayed to a battery placed in his chest.

Smith's surgery took place last October. The results were immediate. As long as the program runs, Smith's tremors disappear within seconds.

"Now I'm looking forward to the future," Smith says. "This has given back my life, I'm able to carry on."

The bluetooth technology has only been around for a little over a year. In that time, it's successfully helped Smith and about 75 other patients.

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